Bill Holohan has again made legal history. Along with other new appointees, he is one of the first solicitors in Irish legal history, to be appointed as Senior Counsel. The appointees will be conferred with Patents of Precedence by the Chief Justice Mr. Justice Frank Clark, at a ceremony at the end of September. This follows on a decision made at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, following a recommendation for appointment made by the Advisory Committee established under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015.
For centuries, while there was no bar on Solicitors applying, such appointments were in practice the preserve of barristers. The 2015 Act confirmed that solicitors were entitled to apply on the basis of demonstrating excellence in advocacy, legal specialism, demonstrable expertise/excellence and or a significant contribution to legal practice. Mr. Holohan, who in addition to being a solicitor is also a Notary Public, Trademark Agent, EU Trademark Practitioner and Accredited Mediator / Arbitrator, is the author of some eight books on Bankruptcy / Insolvency, Professional Negligence, corporate and civil law, et cetera. The Advisory Committee recommended his appointment on the basis of him having “demonstrated compelling evidence of excellence“.
A past pupil of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh in Bishopstown Cork and UCC, Mr. Holohan holds 2 honours law degrees from UCC and a First Class Honours Masters in Advanced Legal Practice from the University of Northumbria in the UK. He is also a Fellow of the Centre of International Legal Studies (Salzburg Austria) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (London). An Accredited Mediator, he is also currently pursuing a doctorate in the area of mediation.
In 2015 he was appointed by the Minister for Justice to the Complaints Adjudication Panel for Personal Insolvency Practitioners for a three-year term and in 2018 was reappointed for a further three-year term. In 2016 he was appointed to the Charities Appeals Tribunal, (a statutory body established under the Charities Act 2009), for a five-year term.
In 2019 he was elected to the Council of the Law Society and has been a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, the Curriculum Development Unit and the Professional indemnity Insurance Committee of the Law Society. He also served as a director of the Mediators Institute for a number of years.
Commenting on his appointment, Bill Holohan said that he was “honoured” to be among the ranks of the first solicitors to be recognised as Senior Counsel.